Bucket Day

Around noon today, the sky was still overcast and a chill wind was blowing. My farmer’s instinct told me that today would not be the day the sap would start to run, so I moved on to other projects. Around 3:00 the sun came out. The air was still below freezing, but had a very different feel to it when I stepped outside. So Franco and I got out the army surplus duffel/backpack, and I tossed in everything I could think of to get the maple syrup ball rolling. We grabbed the snowshoes, and headed down the road.

As usual, Franco was way ahead of me on the road, with his nose poking everywhere, and a stick in his mouth. As soon as we got to the place where we cut across the field, things changed. I strapped on the snowshoes, and poor Frank really struggled to get through the snow. He was pretty tired by the time we finally got to the scene of operations.

firsttapThere are lots of little things to do to get the season started. I busied myself with these things, started a small fire in the evaporator, scooped some clean snow into the pans, etc. One of the last things I did was to fire up the cordless drill and tap the first tree. Now I know what you’re thinking, and I was thinking the same thing when I took the picture. “You’ve seen one picture of a bucket on a tree, you’ve seen them all.” I completely agree, and would have stayed my hand on the camera shutter button if I could have. But there is something just magical about that first tap that I can’t resist. These resilient marvelous maple trees are waking up after such a long nap. They are brave enough to conduct sugar water from their roots all the way to their buds. This is the first twig of the logjam that is winter. You pick that twig out of that jam, and a shutter happens here, a crack there, and pretty soon the river is running free again. Spring is coming my friends, and I’m happy to share the event with our maple trees.

2 Responses to “Bucket Day”

  1. Becky says:

    Thanks for taking me along on your first tap, Ted. I miss the days when we did that. Hasn’t the weather been just delightful?
    Enjoy the longer days,

  2. Patty says:

    What a great day that must have been! I can just visualize it all happening!!!!

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